Pampers is giving babies a Big Brother. Lumi, a new wearable device that attaches to a child’s diaper, tracks an infant’s activities and needs.
Launching this fall, the Orwellian design alerts parents to wet diapers through a connected app that also tracks data on the baby’s sleep and wake times. Additionally, the system comes with a video monitor and can alert parents to feeding times. The Lumi does not, however, detect bowel movements.
“Parents didn’t ask for a poo or pee alarm; they wanted something more like the smart watches of today,” a Pampers spokesperson told CNN Business.
But more data could mean more anxiety for parents, according to David Anderson, senior director at the Child Mind Institute. While deviations in sleeping or eating trends may be completely normal, some parents may treat all divergences from routine as cause for concern.
“While data is generally good, we’re likely to see an increase in calls to pediatricians,” Anderson said.
Smart diapers could also potentially make babies less communicative about their needs, according to Kathy Hirsh-Pasek, president of the International Society for Infant Studies.
“Kids [need] to learn how to control and recognize what’s happening to their body,” she said. “We don’t want our kids to grow up without knowing how to do this. Babies have a right to cry and let us know what’s going on.”
Cybersecurity may also be a concern for the Lumi: In the same way that baby monitors are susceptible to hacks, smart diapers may also be vulnerable.
According to a Pampers spokesperson, Lumi account information will include a baby’s name, sex, birthday, profile photo (if added by the parent), and a 24-hour archive of video from the monitor.
“I do want to reiterate that we take privacy and security very seriously,” the spokesperson said. “Only Lumi by Pampers account holders with their valid credentials will be able to access their baby’s data on the Lumi app.”
Pampers didn’t say how much the system will cost.
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